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Competitive Trail Rides

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The Sage Hill Ride Open Trail Ride

November 2-3, 2013
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Competitive Trail Ride

Each year the Santa Ynez Valley Arabian Horse Association sponsors Open Breed Competitive Trail Rides sanctioned by the North American Trail Conference (NATRC) and AHA. These rides are not a race they are an opportunity to learn and grow as a rider as well as enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Santa Maria Valley. The trail leads riders through a private ranch in the eastern Santa Maria Valley, offering water crossings, sandy washes and other challenges that enable riders to improve their horsemanship skills. Experienced judges score riders on the way they handle and care for their horses and how well they negotiate natural trail obstacles, such as steep ascents, descents and water crossings. Veterinary judges score horses on condition as well as ability to complete this precise ride.

The rides feature various competitive divisions from Introductory (entry level) to Open and also offer the choice of 1 or 2 day duration with the distance ranging from 10 to 50 miles. These events attract riders of ages from 10 to 70 and are a great family activity. They present a super opportunity for people who want to learn more about the sport of competitive trail riding as well as experience camping with horses, family and friends. This is also a great opportunity for conditioning Endurance horses. This ride is fun for both the riders and horses. The horses clearly enjoy the company of their own kind as well as the fresh scenery. People who normally ride in a more structured venue find that that Competitive Trail provides a good mental break for both the horses and themselves.

Once again we had a great turn out this year for the Sage Hill Ride. We had riders from as far south as San Diego and as far north as Washington State. Mother Nature blessed us with a range of weather from sunny- warm to cold and rainy. We had 14 riders from the Arroyo Grande 4H Club. Everyone had a blast and went home with more experience under their belt. Our goal for our upcoming fall 2014 Ride is to include additional 4H Clubs as well as encourage our local Santa Ynez Valley member horse farms to participate.